People let their email pile up. Some let it get to astronomical levels, which used to (still does in some cases) impact the performance of their local system. But it doesn’t matter anymore, that is, if you leverage all the free space provided by your Office 365 subscription.

By using In-Place Archiving and a Retention Policy, you can automate the process so that your primary mailbox never becomes unwieldy and your Archive mailbox never runs out of space.

NOTE: The In-Place Archive mailbox should not be confused with the default Archive *folder* within your primary mailbox, although these can work together as described later on.

The screenshot below shows my email account in ‘Outlook on the web’ – the web-based version of Outlook that reflects the contents of the Exchange mail server’s contents for this respective mailbox.

In my case, Archive1 below happens to refer to the default Archive *folder* within my primary mailbox in Outlook. When I click on the Archive  button (in Outlook desktop on the Mac), this easily processes mail from the Inbox folder to the Archive folder as a kind of temporary holding bin.

By right-clicking on a *folder* like Archive1 above, you can assign Messaging Records Management (MRM) policies, such as moving all items to the In-Place Archive after 30 days. In this case, I send the most inconsequential email messages to the Archive folder within my primary mailbox by clicking the Archive rather than the Delete button. But after 30 days, it automatically gets moved to the In-Line Archive mailbox, which expands automatically as space is needed.

Below we can how my Office 365/Exchange Online user account is split into three sections:

  1. Primary Mailbox
  2. In-Place Archive
  3. Recoverable items (topic of another conversation)

A little quick math shows that I have 270 GB of mailbox storage. And after 5 years (since 2014), I’ve only accumulated about 27 GB of email content or about 10% of total storage capacity. That is, until the In-Place Archive automatically kicks in and expands.

 


 

“Archiving in Office 365 (also called In-Place Archiving) provides users with additional mailbox storage space. After you turn on archive mailboxes, users can access and store messages in their archive mailboxes by using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web App. Users can also move or copy messages between their primary mailbox and their archive mailbox. They can also recover deleted items from the Recoverable Items folder in their archive mailbox by using the Recover Deleted Items tool.”